Some forms of autism are probably a normal human condition, perhaps even essential to preservation of our species.
So what is autism?
Excerpted from MIT Communications Forum: Autism & The Internet” or “It’s The Wiring, Stupid, by Harvey Blume:
- “It might be useful at this point to give a definition of autism, before admitting there really isn’t a very good one, and that
autism, unlike, say Downs Syndrome, is less a discrete condition than a cluster, or better yet, a continuum of affects.
- (It is also a cluster of acronyms, HFA for high-functioning autistic, AS, or Aspie, for Asperger’s, a milder form of the syndrome, ASD for Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and, of course, NT for none of the above).
- Oliver Sacks.. says it comes with “a consistent triad of impairments: impairment of social interaction with others,
impairment of verbal and nonverbal communication, and impairment of play and imaginative activities.”
- But he is quick to add: “The ultimate understanding of autism may demand both technical advances and
conceptual ones beyond anything we can now even dream of.” It might also be useful to hear a high-functioning autistic describe autism from the inside”.
If Autism is defined by symptoms, how do we help our children?
Science searches to identify, cure, prevent. The further we explore, the more we learn about what works and for whom. As an educator, I don’t search for cures. I address the symptoms by promoting academic, social and self-help skills, language development and self-awareness, all essential skills for participating in society.
After all, if some forms of autism are essential to the preservation of our species, why would we exclude anyone?